URA hints at cooling measures for commercial sector if it gets too hot
The Straits Times
January 28, 2013
[SINGAPORE] Some investors are already trying to flip the shop units they bought just days ago at the yet-to-be-completed Alexandra Central, a sign that they had invested in the project hoping to make a quick buck.
A Business Times check showed that at least 19 of the 114 retail units that were sold by the developer last Monday, appeared to be on the market again by Saturday. Only one unit of each size was included in this tally.
On website Commercialguru, agents had, on Saturday, put up listings to sell more than 15 shop units that buyers had previously snapped up. Some of these agents re-posted the listings yesterday.
Property agents have also been sending text messages marketing these units, while at least two advertisements appeared in the Classifieds section of The Straits Times on Saturday.
Prices listed ranged from about $3,720.93 per square foot for a 24 square metre (258 sq ft) unit, to as high as $8,600 psf for a 10 sq m (107.6 sq ft) unit.
Said one property agent: "There are many units at Alexandra Central now on the market, you just have to let me know your budget and my guys will find one for you."
One 15 sq m (161.5 sq ft) retail unit on the third floor, which was bought on Monday at $710,000, was being marketed for sale at $850,000 on Saturday.
Another 18 sq m shop (193.8 sq ft), which was purchased from the developer at $833,000, had agents trying to sell it for $1.02 million.
Late last week, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) indicated that it may extend cooling measures to the commercial property sector if transactions rise above what it deems to be the comfort level.
It said in response to queries from The Business Times: "We are monitoring the various segments of the property market closely, including the commercial sector. We will introduce measures if required to moderate investment demand and prevent over-heating in the property market."
The launch of 99-year leasehold Alexandra Central last Monday featured a packed showroom. All but two of the 116 strata shop units available were sold.
It was estimated that at least 20 buyers on average were competing for each unit, while a shop space on the third storey had as many as 155 interested buyers.
The project's popularity came amid expectations among market watchers that commercial properties are likely to see higher interest following the recent round of cooling measures that hit the residential and industrial markets about two weeks ago.
Shop space went for $4,000 psf to over $7,000 psf at the launch. Alexandra Central consists largely of small shops, with units ranging in size from 10 sq m (107.6 sq ft) to 667 sq m (7179.5 sq ft).
What remained unsold by the developer last Monday was a 102 sq m (1,097 sq ft) food and beverage unit on the second floor of the project, and the largest, 667 sq m unit on the third floor that was not launched for sale - though agents were trying to gather interest in the unit.
Agents were still trying to sell both units yesterday.
When completed, Alexandra Central will be located next to Ikea and on the site of the former Safra building in Alexandra Road. The overall development includes a 450-room hotel managed by Park Hotel Group. Construction is expected to be completed by June 2016. It is developed by Chip Eng Seng.
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